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Anti-Muslim Aftermath of Modi’s Election Victory

Anti-Muslim Aftermath of Modi’s Election Victory

By

Sajjad Shaukat

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extremist party BJP had got a land sliding triumph in the Indian elections 2014 on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans. Indian election-campaign against Islam, Muslims and Pakistan enabled BJP hardliner Modi to become Indian prime minister. Whereas, the Muslim community in India had felt alienated, frightened and perturbed, as most of them were also effectively disenfranchised.

 

Muslims were already aware of Modi’s agenda to reduce the Muslim community in India to second class citizens and had felt nervous and gloomy. Their anxiety was multiplying due to the fact that during the election campaign, the BJP was also speaking of Hindu deep-seated animosity against Pakistan and Pakistani public.

 

Hence, since Prime Minister Modi came to power, he has been implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda with the support of fanatic coalition outfits. 

 

In this regard, various developments like unprecedented rise of Hindu extremism, persecution of Muslims, assaults on Muslims, including their places of worships and property by the fanatic Hindu mobs, inclusion of Hindu religious books in curriculum, forced conversion of Muslims into Hindus and ban on beef and cow slaughter clearly showed that encouraged by the Hindu fundamentalist groups such as BJP, RSS VHP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena, including other similar parties have been promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism in India by propagating the ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) which is the genesis of Hindu terrorism.

 

Besides, continuing false flag operations, on Setember18, 2016, New Delhi staged the drama of the terror attack in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) at a military base in Uri, close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan. After the Uri episode, without any investigation, India’s top civil and military officials, including their media started propaganda against Pakistan by accusing that the militants who targeted the Uri base came from Pakistan’s side of Azad Kashmir. India created war-hysteria against Pakistan and started mobilization of troops near the LOC while claiming surgical strikes on the Azad Kashmir. But, the myth of Indian so-called surgical strikes was exposed, as Indian top civil and military officers could not prove the strikes. Meanwhile, Indian forces also accelerated violations of the LoC by shelling Pakistani side of Kashmir, which still continues.

 

 

India’s Saffron Hindutva Terrorista

 

 

 

However, BJP played the same anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan card to gain votes of a majority of Hindus in the general elections 2019. Hindu majority was mobilized on ‘hate Muslim’ slogans and ‘anti-Pakistan’ jargons, while the incessant and unjust Indian propaganda against Pakistan was beyond anybody’s cognition, which still keeps on going.

 

Notably, very tension escalated rapidly between New Delhi and Islamabad when on February 27, this year, in response to the Indian so-called pre-emptive air strike near the town of Balakot, close to the border with Pakistan’s sector of Kashmir, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets and launched aerial strikes at six targets in the IOK.

 

In the aftermath of the false flag terror attack at Pulwama, the truth about India’s surgical strikes unmasked, when Indian top civil and military leaders failed in providing any evidence.

 

The myth of Indian surgical strikes was further exposed, when, referring to the statement of Indian India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who admitted on April 18, 2019 that no Pakistani soldier or citizen died in the air strike carried out by IAF across the border in Balakot, Director General of Pakistan Army’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj-Gen. Asif Ghafoor stated on April 19, 2019: “After India finally admitted that their so-called air strike carried on February 26 in Balakot caused no deaths and casualties…Hopefully, so will be about other false Indian claims [such as] surgical strike of 2016, denial of shooting down of two Indian Air Force [IAF] jets by Pakistan Air Force and claims about F16…Better late than never.”

 

Afterwards, journalists visited the targeted site of Balakot and Islamabad also released a video which exposed the false statements of New Delhi that IAF fighters targeted the camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and killed 350 militants.

 

In fact, the false flag terror attack in the Pulwama district of the IOK, which killed at least 44 Indian soldiers, was election stunt of the BJP. Exploiting that episode, a wave of jingoism was created by the BJP-led fanatic parties against the Muslims and Pakistan to win the general elections 2019.

 

Therefore, as regards the elections 2019, on May 23, 2019, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 352 out of 542 Lok Sabha seats, with the BJP sweeping up 303 seats on its own—21 seats more than it won in the 2014 elections. Across most of North and Central India, BJP candidates also won with bigger vote shares and wider victory margins than in 2014.

 

Owing to the huge mandate of the BJP, violence has been let loose, with “Jai Shri Ram”–a slogan that roughly translates to “Hail Lord Ram”. As Modi was named as the leader of the NDA for a second time, minority communities especially Muslims have made to live in fear by the extremist Hindus.

 

In this respect, in the aftermath of the election results, news reports have highlighted different cases in which Dalits and particularly Muslims were violently targeted for reasons as varied as allegedly possessing beef, protesting against caste-based discrimination or simply being Muslim. Especially, various incidents of arrests and violent assaults on the Muslims by the Hindus have been recorded.

 

In an incident, a Santhali teacher in Jharkhand was arrested for a two-year-old Facebook post defending the right of Adivasi communities to eat beef.

 

In Begusarai district, where Hindutva hardliner Giriraj Singh won the 2019 Lok Sabha seat, a Muslim youth Mohammed Qasim was shot at by a Hindu Yadav on May 26 after his attacker discovered his religious identity.

 

25-year-old Mohammad Barkat from Gurugram in Haryana was accosted by a group of Hindus who ordered him to take off his skullcap. According to a report of “The Hindu”, the group of men abused Barkat and told him that skullcaps were not allowed in that area. When Barkat told them that he was returning from the mosque after prayers, one of the men slapped him. Barkat told ‘The Hindu’, “When I refused, he threatened to feed me pork…The men also beat me with a stick and tore my shirt before driving away on a motorbike.”

 

Tabrez Ansari, 22, was caught by a crowd in the BJP-ruled state of Jharkhand on suspicion of stealing a motorcycle on 18 June. He was tied to a tree and beaten within an inch of his life. And while he was being thrashed, the crowd established his religion–Muslim and then began the demands for “Jai Shri Ram”. Ansari was then arrested and taken into judicial custody. On June 23, he died in a local hospital after he complained that he felt unwell.

 

In the West Bengal, a 26-year-old Muslim teacher Hafeez Mohammad Shahrukh Haldar was attacked by a group of Hindus on June 24 and was pushed off a train in Kolkata for not chanting “Jai Shri Ram”.

 

In the run-up to May’s general elections and after the results were declared, Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of Bengal, was constantly heckled by BJP mobs to shout, “Jai Shri Ram”.

 

Nevertheless, persecution of the Muslims continues unabated in India and the BJP-ruled central government has been largely silent in this regard.

 

In this connection, Hindu-Muslim communal tension flared up in Old Delhi’s Hauz Qazi on July 1, this year after 3 or 4 Hindu boys, including 45-year-old Sanjeev Kumar Gupta tortured a Muslim boy Aas Mohammad (20) on alleged wrong parking of motorbike on night of June 30, 2019, outside his house next to the temple. Muslims of the area observed shutter down strike. During the protest, another scuffle took place between Hindus and Muslims, which resulted in increased tensions. A group of Muslims damaged two Mandirs in the area. However, no casualty took place.

 

India’s Central Reserve Police (CRPF) cordoned the areas of Darya Gunj, Pahar Gunj, Lal Kunwan, Jamia Masjid and Chandni Chowk with the unannounced curfew-like situation. New Delhi has ensured a complete black-out of the incident in print and electronic media.

 

According to India Today, “Politicians giving a communal spin to the incident: Sanjiv Kumar, man involved parking scuffle in Delhi, speaks to India Today…Reiterating that there was no intention to give the Hauz Qazi incident a communal colour…Politicians end up giving communal colour to everything. Whether it is the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress or Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), there is no exception.”

 

It is notable that even foreign print and electronic media and analysts opined, “Modi’s election win is a victory for far-right Hindu nationalism…India’s secular democracy is under threat…BJP’s record in 2015-2019 has been divisive, to say the least. The party has marginalized religious minorities, especially Muslims, from public life with many, as a result, being lynched by Hindu nationalists in the name of cow protection…Jingoism and Islamophobia have propelled the BJP to an even stronger showing than in 2014. A Modi victory puts India’s 200 million Muslims in danger…Modi is part of the large Hindu supremacist family…In his home state of Odisha, he furthered India’s sectarian divide, pushed the idea of Hindu supremacy and with that, violence against Muslims, Christians and other minorities…Modi is radicalising Muslims.”

 

Undoubtedly, we can that the Constitution declares India to be a secular state, granting equal rights to the religious minorities, but in practice, the ideology of Hindutva prevails. Hindu politics and culture, dominated by the extremist Hindu parties have been propagating Hindutva agenda. After the election victory of the BJP and its coalition parties led by the fundamentalist Prime Minister Modi, Muslim anxiety in India is increasing owing to the fact that like the previous elections, during the election-campaign of 2019, Hindu majority was mobilized on the anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim slogans. 

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is the author of the book: The US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                              

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Why India and the US Oppose the CPEC… By Sajjad Shaukat

         Why India and the US Oppose the CPEC

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

India was openly opposing the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is part of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) or China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the US also joined New Delhi. In this context, on October 3, 2017, the then US Defence Secretary James Mattis told the Lawmakers, “The United States has reiterated its support for India’s opposition to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative…the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a part of which traverses Pakistan-Kashmir.”

http://cpec.gov.pk/progress-update

 

Pakistan strongly rejected the statement from the American defence chief that the multibillion-dollar road and rail network CPEC will pass through a disputed territory of Kashmir, urging the international community to focus on blatant human rights violations and ‘heinous crimes’ committed by Indian occupation forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), and reminded America that Washington had also participated in an OBOR summit.

 

Earlier, a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry also dismissed Mattis’ statement, saying that the OBOR plan was backed by the United Nations and that CPEC was an economic cooperation initiative.

 

In this regard, again, the Indian envoy to China Vikram Mistri told Chinese state media in March, last year that a part of the CPEC shall pass through Pakistani side of Kashmir and the OBOR or BRI does not respect India’s “concerns” of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

 

Addressing Indian concerns, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said on April 15, this year, “As for the Indian comments on not participating in the BRI [Conference] for various reasons, I’d like to say that the BRI is an open and inclusive economic cooperation initiative. It does not involve territorial and maritime disputes…Whether the Indian side will participate in the Belt and Road Forum, I think you need to ask the Indian side for a more specific answer. But here I’d like to re-emphasise that the BRI is proposed by China but it is already an international public good….The belt and road cooperation since it was first proposed…has been an open and inclusive initiative for all countries…interested in this…if the relevant side would like to wait and see, we do not oppose that. And as for more international organisations in the second BRI [Conference] meaning that some countries will lose opportunities, you may need to ask the countries themselves which do not participate in the BRI.”

 

It is notable that India which has consistently kept away from BRI did not participate in its second conference which was held in Beijing from April 25 to 27, 2019 and leaders of countries including heads of state and government from nearly 40 countries attended the meeting.

 

Pakistan’ s Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his speech at the opening ceremony called for greater attention to tackling poverty as Pakistan and China enter the next phase of the CPEC. He appreciated the significance of China’s BRI, elaborating, it “marks a new and distinct phase in the onward march of nations in the world along the path of globalization”.

 

However, India and the US continue opposing the CPEC. In this respect, Indian lobbies which are well-penetrated in the US administration and Europe, research centres, think tanks and so-called human rights groups utilize the media tools in defaming Pakistan internationally. Especially, Indian RAW is availing the opportunity of the US-led organized propaganda campaign against Pakistan. Now, CPEC is a special target of these hostile entities.

 

In this connection, much coverage was given by the external media to a report, released on April 13, 2017, by Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) which is in partnership with Mahatma Gandhi International AISBL. The subject report portrayed complete Indian negative propaganda themes about Pakistan’s provinces of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Balochistan and Sindh. Based on falsehood, the report also said that the CPEC is a breach of international law and is being implemented without consultation or compensation to the people of the area.

 

Undoubtedly, GB is the gateway of CPEC into Pakistan, whereby GB’s strategic and socio-economic importance has increased manifold. Like Balochistan, the region has huge potential in trade with China, tourism, minerals, gems, precious stones, agriculture-farming and hydropower production. Therefore, GB’s people who are strengthening their association with Pakistan, pay no attention to the false propaganda.

 

While, these US-led Western entities, particularly India who also give undue coverage to the meetings and protests against the integrity of Pakistan, are especially exaggerating the statements of those Baloch separatist leaders who have taken shelter in Europe and America, and are fulfilling the agenda of their foreign masters against the CPEC.

 

The reality is that the establishment of CPEC between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China will connect Gilgit-Baltistan through Khunjerab Pass. Beijing would also build an international airport at Gwadar, while the roads infrastructure in Gwadar would link the communication network of the rest of the country to facilitate the transportation of goods.

 

When Gwadar seaport becomes fully operational, it would connect the landlocked Central Asian states with the rest of the world. Being the commercial hub, the port is likely to increase the volume of trade, bringing multiple economic and financial benefits to Pakistan. It will enable high-volume cargo vessels to move in the major oceans. Gwadar project which is the backbone of the CPEC will uplift the impoverished people of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, including developments in other provinces by providing thousands of employment opportunities, particularly to the less developed areas by redressing their grievances. The resulting prosperity in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan would damp the separatist sentiments of the people, which the hostile elements, supported by the US, India and Israeli do not want. Therefore, these entities and their media describe the CPEC in negative terms.

 

In fact, since the occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led NATO forces, the country has become a centre of American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which are in connivance to obtain the covert designs of their countries and some Western countries against Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran. Under the cover of fighting terrorism, these intelligence agencies which are also in collaboration with the Afghan intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS), support the militants of ISIS and Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), including their linked outfits which have been conducting terror-assaults in Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the secret strategy of the US-led countries. Besides, these terrorist outfits are weakening Tibetan regions of China and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan through subversive activities.

 

It is mentionable that Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad. Army and top intelligence agency ISI have broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants while thwarting a number of terror attempts. Peace has been restored in various regions of Pakistan, including Karachi and Balochistan province.

 

But, in the recent past, blasts in Balochistan and other regions of the country showed that the US-led India, Afghanistan and Israel have again started acts of sabotage especially to weaken Pakistan and to damage the Pak-China project of CPEC. Foiled terror attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi on November 23, 2018, was part of the same scheme. Nevertheless, CIA, RAW and Mossad are assisting the separatist elements of the Balochistan to thwart the CPEC project.

 

It is of particular attention that during P.M. Imran Khan’s second trip to China, on April 28, this year, Islamabad and Beijing embarked on the new phase of the CPEC by signing a memorandum of understanding-agreements on the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and socio-economic development and a new agreement on free trade. The new phase of the CPEC would be characterised by industrialization—20 factories is being set up in Rashakai, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.  In view of trade is an important element of the CPEC, the two sides concluded the second stage of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) aimed at strengthening trade ties between the two countries. Under the new FTA, China would open up 90 per cent of its market for Pakistani goods whereas Pakistan would share 65pc of its market with Chinese exports. This would also help in redressing, to a certain extent, the yawning trade imbalance between the two countries, which stood at $9.7 billion last year.

 

The two sides also signed an agreement on a technical package for upgradation of Pakistan’s main railway line-Mail Line-One (ML-1) under which a double track from Peshawar to Karachi will be built with China’s help. China who will spend $1bn on 27 projects, help Pakistan Railways in improving its capacity.

 

Nonetheless, China has clarified Indian concerns on the CPEC or OBOR. But, apart from the US, India is particularly opposing the CPEC as part of the anti-Pakistan and anti-China approach.  

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is the author of the book: the US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is the author of the book: the US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

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India’s Fake Boat Drama was Exposed by Sajjad Shaukat

India’s Fake Boat Drama was Exposed

By Sajjad Shaukat

        

On December 31, 2014, Indian agencies orchestrated a terror boat drama to defame Pakistan in the world. In this respect, Indian media and high officials unfolded the drama on the New Year’s eve by allegedly reporting that a Pakistani fishing boat as a Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was intercepted by Indian Coast Guards, some 356 km. off the coast of Porebandar, Gujarat. While alleging Pakistan, the Indian government had claimed that it had foiled another 26/11-type attack of Mumbai. Indian drama took a new twist in the shape of an expose which had overturned Indian aspersions blaming Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

As per Indian Coast Guard IG, K R Nautiyal, an operation was undertaken on a precise intelligence tip and boat was ordered to stop, but it did not comply and sped away. Propagating that Pakistani terrorists had been apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard on the high seas and, after a long chase, when warning shots had been fired, the ‘terrorists’ had blown themselves up.

 

Indian Coast Guard officials stated that no body or debris was found due to bad weather. Moreover, it was also stated that search was on for another boat which they fear was in communication with the capsized boat. 

 

The Pakistani media said that the Indian media was playing up the incident without establishing proper links to terrorism. The incident was strongly rejected by Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam, terming it as mere propaganda aimed at tarnishing Pakistan’s image. She elaborated, “Pakistan expects India to conduct a transparent probe to ascertain the facts of the boat incident, while highlighting that its own investigation had shown that there was no sound evidence to substantiate India’s assertions. On the so called terror boat incident, India has not approached Pakistan through diplomatic channels.” 

 

However, the boat incident had also stirred a controversy within India itself. Indian National Congress had stated that it has doubts on government’s version of Porebandar incident. The BJP in response had stated that Congress was lending credence to Pakistani stance. In this regard, hitting at Congress, BJP President Amit Shah asked the opposition party, whether it was fighting elections in India or Pakistan.

 

It is notable that 48 hours after the incident, the Indian officials had started portraying another version by suggesting that the boat which had left Keti Bandar, Karachi might have belonged to small time smugglers.

 

And it was not possible that 30 HP boat could run four state of the art Indian Coast Guard ships. The media clips showed only fire damage to the boat, whereas, in case of an explosion, as suggested by the Indians, complete boat which was small in size, would have torn to pieces.

 

Indian officials said that wreckage and dead bodies could not be recovered due to bad weather, whereas, open source met data forecasted fair weather. The argument is supplemented by the fact that small boats do not operate in deep open waters unless weather is clear.

Meanwhile, despite the insistence of Islamabad, no solid proof was provided by Indian authorities about the incident, and no inquiry reports was shared with local and international media. Hence, Pakistan launched strong diplomatic protest at UNO, demanding impartial inquiry which could expose Indian fabricated story regarding the Boat episode. 

 

Nevertheless, we cannot see the event in isolation, as New Delhi had hidden aims behind that stereotype fake drama. Indian orchestrated boat drama was to create an aura against Pakistan prior to US President Barrack Obama’s visit (25-27 January 2015) to India and put pressure on Pakistan government on Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi’s bail issue and allege LeT as an organization, posing regional threats. Prior to Obama’s visit, Indian propaganda was also part of overall plan to malign Pakistan of sponsoring terrorist activities in India. New Delhi, for the last few months, was propagating conduct of terrorist activities by LeT inside India.

 

India had also been projecting the possibility of a terrorist attack coinciding with Obama’s visit or targeting the dignitary. In this context, Indian secret agency, RAW, Intelligence Bureau and other intelligence agencies had been issuing threat alert almost on daily basis. The issuance of such alerts by New Delhi reflected the concerns of the US and the West regarding the prevailing law and order and security situation in India—being deteriorated by the Hindu terrorism which had been encouraged by BJP hardliner Narendra Modi who got a land sliding triumph in the Indian elections 2014 and had become the prime minister of India. Hindu majority was mobilized on anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim slogans. Therefore, he is fulfilling the agenda of Hinduvta (Hindu nationalism).

 

In fact, Hindu politics and culture are dominated by the fundamentalist parties such as BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena and other similar groups which have been propagating Hindutva. Provocative utterances of their extremist leaders have resulted into unending violence against the Muslim and Christians including other minority groups, while, India is also facing insurgency and terrorism in its various regions. 

 

It is mentionable that on January 20, 2013, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde confessed the nexus between BJP and the RSS, disclosing that organized training camps run by these fundamentalist parties were promoting Hindu terrorism. They also disclosed that these parties were behind the Samjhauta Express, Makkah Masjid and Malegaon blasts including Gujarat and Babri Masjid incidents. Earlier, New Delhi was accusing Pakistan’s primary intelligence agency, ISI for blasts in Malegaon and other cities.

 

It is noteworthy that on December 13, 2001, Indian parliament was attacked by five terrorists. Without any evidence, Indian top officials and TV channels started a blame game against Pakistan by involving the banned Lashkar-e-Tayba and ISI in relation to the Parliament assault.

 

While, regarding the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks, Indian rulers and media had again started a blame game against Pakistan, propagating that Indian Mujahideen, the banned Lashkar-e-Tayba and ISI were behind the Mumbai carnage.

 

Availing the pretext of the parliament attack and Mumbai catastrophe, New Delhi had, twice, suspended the process of dialogue with Islamabad in wake of its highly provocative actions like mobilization of troops. Pakistan had also taken defensive steps to meet any Indian prospective aggression or surgical strikes. But, India failed in implementing its aggressive plans, because Pakistan also possesses atomic weapons.

 

It is of particular attention that on July 19, 2013, the Indian former home ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma revealed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws. It proved that both the dramas were also orchestrated by the Indian intelligence agencies.

 

Renowned thinkers, Hobbes, Machiavelli and Morgenthau opine that sometimes, rulers act upon immoral activities like deceit, fraud and falsehood to fulfill their countries’ selfish aims. But such a sinister politics was replaced by new trends such as fair-dealings, reconciliation and economic development. Regrettably, India is still following past politics in modern era. 

 

Nonetheless, as part of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan move, BJP-led government which is continuously manipulating the double standard of the US-led Western countries in relation to New Delhi and Islamabad had arranged the fake boat drama to defame Pakistan prior to Obama’s Indian visit, though reality of that false flag operation was exposed afterwards.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

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Radicalization trends in South Asia Brig (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Radicalization trends in South Asia

Asif Haroon Raja

Geostrategic Importance of South Asia

South Asia is house to around 1.5 billion people who represent one-quarter of the world’s population; with a high growth rate of population. and scarcity of resources collectively creates opportunities for socio-political, and economic instability resulting into conflicts.

This vast region is sandwiched between the great mountain chains and the Indian Ocean. In the north and northeast, it is surrounded by mighty Himalayan mountain ranges, while in the north-west by the Karakorum, the Hindu Kush and Makran ranges. In the east, it is enclosed by Purvanchal Hills and Bay of Bengal, while in the south it penetrates into the Indian Ocean and in the south-west by the Arabian Sea.

Politically the entire South-Asian region has witnessed convulsive politics in the last seven decades. The causes are mainly religious, linguistic, castes, ethnic and economic disparities and uneven resource distribution. Another cause of political turbulence is mutual suspicion and mistrust and a lack of confidence in each other’s motives and intentions.

The disputes among South Asian countries have remained an area of unresolved and dangerous conflict involving external powers, arms proliferation and ethnic and religious hatred that go back to the evolution of India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, the countries that form South Asia.

 

Due to its strategic location and natural wealth, the region has acquired a very important position from a geostrategic point of view. While India taking advantage of her size, diplomatic clout, military power and economic strength, has all along striven to dominate South Asia, external powers such as Russia, USA and China in their quest for geostrategic and geo-economic ambitions, seek to engage South Asian countries as well as with neighboring regions rich in energy resources.

 

The politics of violence and extremism in South Asia is mainly the result of faulty national policies and interference of external powers. The region’s vast potential is hostage to unresolved inter-state conflicts, mostly left behind by Britain and now being exploited by India which considers itself to be the successor of former colonial power which ruled and plundered the resources of this region for 200 years. The USA which filled the power vacuum after 1947 has also been meddling into the affairs of South Asia in its quest for attainment of global ambitions.

Indian Factor

One reason behind South Asia’s backwardness and rise in extremist tendencies is the imperialist designs of India which has all along aspired to create mythical Akhand Bharat. While dealing with neighbours much smaller in size, resources and military strength, India is always in a mood to bully, to terrorise and to dictate terms.

The favourite means employed by India to make the defiant neighbour bend to its dictates are diplomatic pressure, economic blackmail, military coercion and application of the military instrument. It also resorts to sabotage and subversion abets insurgency and uses Kautylian tactics such as propaganda war, disinformation, deception and false flag operations.  

India’s Contribution to ISIS

India has trained RAW in this game and over a period of time, it claims to have excelled in the art of disinformation campaign, espionage and subversion. There is no country in its neighbourhood which has not been jolted by India through immoral methods, be it Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and Tibet.  Pakistan has suffered the most at its hand and continues to endure.

SAARC which could have played a big role in the economic development of South Asia is in limbo due to Indian unilateralism.

Editor’s Note: Indian Intelligence RAW has also sent fighters to ISIS on pre-condition they attack Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frenetic modernization of Indian armed forces and India’s expansionist designs have compelled the South Asian states to spend a sizeable part of the budget in upgradation of defence capability.   

 

Lackadaisical Role of Governments

 


In addition, instead of promoting unity and integration (both at national and regional levels) it led to ethnic solidarities and identification with religion and culture.

Role of Masterminds

Terrorism grows enormously when powerful nations do injustice with the developing nations by gobbling up their resources or keeping the weaker nations under their thumb through neo-colonization. The easiest way is to buy the loyalties of the ruling class of the third world, which readily toes the dictated line of the Masterminds to stay in power and get out of sync with the public. Humanity has been trapped by Criminal Masterminds which is causing Global Poverty and Artificial Global Famine.

Poverty Exploited

Deliberately injected poverty in selected countries/regions pave the way for breeding grounds for the youth to deflect towards Global Terrorism and Global Crimes. Poverty and famine tend to make the poverty-stricken people to do anything for little money for their survival. Masterminds can easily find them, twist them including their beliefs/faiths and forcefully use them according to their own desire.

In every targeted country after 9/11, proxies were hired to create disturbances and topple regimes. Hired mercenaries were from the derived class. The purpose of this gory drama on part of the Masterminds is to rob the wealth of the globalized world in stages.

Wars fought on fake narratives

Masterminds also fool their citizens and create a scenario to prove that war is inevitable and war must be fought at all cost. Hidden motive behind all wars is to run their war-related businesses and become richer than ever before.

Many wars in the past were based on lies. Warmongers fooled their own citizens, e.g. Vietnam War, Gulf War on the issue of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. EBOLA, SARS, AIDS & Chicken Pox could be biological weapons to wipe out people in other parts of the world as well as creating artificial famine. 

Americans have lived under the broken umbrella of an empire controlled by 1% dirty rich that cares not to protect the overwhelming majority. They live under the auspices of a regime that spends half of the common people hard earned tax dollars on phoney wars, illegal foreign occupations and excessive militarism at home. Tens of thousands are lucky to afford the bare necessities of life.

Israel in the Middle East and India in South Asia are the cat paws of imperialist USA. The jingoistic trio is committing worst human rights abuses and state terrorism. 

 

Grave Threats Faced by South Asia

The South Asian region currently faces a grave security threat due to increasing extremism and terrorist activities. The politics of violence and extremist trends in South Asia can be linked to the contradictions arising as a consequence of faulty national policies.

The nature and political economy of the states have been instrumental in creating the current crisis. The South Asian states tend to operate in the interests of a coalition of classes and ethnic groups, thereby influencing development policies and the distribution of resources. The pace, content and dynamics of the uneven development patterns in South Asia are among the predominant causes of violence in the region.

Besides the failure of transition to modernity among these South Asian states, political culture has also led to ethnic solidarities and identification with religion and culture.

Interference from external powers and from neighbouring and extra-regional elements (both governments and independent groups) has given a dangerous tilt to the existing volatile situation.

With the marked rise of extremism and increasing terrorist activities, particularly in the past decade, South Asia is among the regions in the world with the highest annual number of fatalities caused by terrorist violence. Ethnic, ideological and political conflicts pose a serious threat to stability and interstate relations.

Each state faces multiple concerns ranging from fundamentalists to ethnopolitical violence, which is consolidating along with the worsening socio-economic conditions.

The situation has become all the more dangerous and alarming in the wake of nuclearisation of two arch-rivals India and Pakistan and unresolved Kashmir dispute which has become a nuclear flashpoint. Indo-US-Afghan-Israel nexus offensively poised against nuclear Pakistan fighting an internal war on terror and confronted with economic and political challenges finds itself in a dangerous situation but is determined to deal with any military adventure squarely.  

 

War on terror initiated by the USA to make the world safe and secure has intensified extremism and terrorism and today the world has become more unsafe and insecure.

 

Causation of Growth of Extremism

 

Terrorism and the rise of extremism have been occurring in South Asia for a variety of reasons, including perpetration by tyrannical and aggressive regimes and rebel groups, social injustice, ideological contradictions, religious beliefs and foreign interference. However, deteriorating socio-economic conditions, government policies and outside interference in all South Asian countries have been the primary factors responsible for the rise of extremism in the region. Terrorism and its political consequences have directly and visibly affected interstate relations in South Asia and have also led to destabilization in the region.

Main Causes. The main causes of Extremism are appended below:

 

Poor economic growth along with high population growth has led to the problems of mass unemployment, hunger and income inequality.

 

The economic inequalities and deprivation have created frustration and insecurity among the masses, leading to an increasing criminalization of society in which there are available targets for exploitation by the extremist elements in and outside the governments.

 

Along with the deteriorating economies of South Asia, governmental policies have accentuated the extremist trend in all these states.

 

Extra-regional actors are primarily responsible for the ongoing wave of terrorism and rising extremism.

 

The extremist trends have been boosted in the South Asian countries due to the interference by the neighbouring and extra-regional countries in the internal affairs of the states.

 

The separatist and ethnic movements have also been supported from across the border, by the governments or any particular group, for its interests.  

 

The Bangla national movement in 1971, which resulted in the partition of Pakistan and formation of Bangladesh, could not have succeeded without the physical military intervention of India aided by the former Soviet Union.

 

Sri Lanka too is an old victim of Indian machinations and Tamil Tigers insurgency was Indian manufactured. Similarly, the Maoists in Nepal are known to have collaboration and sponsorship from India.

 

The Kashmiri freedom movement in India has received only moral, political and diplomatic support from Pakistan since its hands have been tied by new laws on terrorism. Indian forces are breaking all records of state terrorism and human rights to quell popular unarmed uprising seeking the right of self-determination.  

 

Pakistan has a bagful of concrete evidence of India’s RAW deep-rooted involvement in Baluchistan, FATA and Karachi. Indian leaders have often bragged about it and are threatening Pakistan to break it into four pieces. Besides covert operations, India is resorting to water terrorism to make Pakistan dry.

 

Governed by mutual strategic interests, India is being fully supported by the USA, Israel, the West and Afghanistan to destroy Pakistan.

 

 

The Growth of Extremism in Pakistan

 

There were several factors and events that have led to extremism, sectarianism and terrorism in Pakistan. These factors include:

 

  • The early demise of Quaid-e-Azam and murder of Liaqat Ali Khan resulted in a leadership crisis, which persists to this day.

 

  • Uneven development of provinces and growth of regionalism gave rise to fissiparous tendencies and strengthened centrifugal forces in smaller provinces.

 

  • Insensitivity and callous attitude of the elites towards the deprived class bred resentment.

 

  • Selective accountability and pro-rich judicial system added to the frustration of the have-nots.

 

  • Corruption in all government, judicial and police departments eroded moral turpitude and scruples.

 

  • Unresolved Kashmir dispute and State terrorism of India against Kashmiris heightened Jihadi tendencies.

 

  • Western hatred towards Muslims and hounding and persecution of religious elements dubbed as terrorists intensified anti-US feelings.

 

  • Promotion of western values and demeaning of Islam by liberals, sharpened secular-Islamist divide.

 

  • Divisive education system provided unequal opportunities for social growth.

 

  • The impact of regional events like the Iranian revolution, Afghan Jihad and emergence of Taliban.

 

  • Impact of Freedom Struggle in Kashmir and Palestine issue.

 

  • Unresolved Kashmir dispute which has resulted in three major wars and several local conflicts and has led to the nuclearization of South Asia.

 

  • To counter Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, the United States supported and sponsored Pakistan and also the Jihadi groups during the period 1979-1989, which in post-1990 period became a threat for the security and stability of Pakistan.

 

  • After Soviet withdrawal and diminishing of US interests in the region, Pakistan was left in a complete lurch for dealing with the menace of terrorism and extremism spread over the decade of its war against Soviets.

 

  • With the 9/11 incident, Pakistan once again became a frontline state in the war against terrorism. The renewed interference by the US in Pakistan and Pakistan’s support against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan once again aggravated the extremist and anti-US elements, having extensive implications on the internal security situation.

 

  • The US initiated war on terror in Afghanistan was purposely fomented in Pakistan with ulterior motives to destabilize, secularize, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan.

 

  • Unstable Afghanistan was used as a base of operation to achieve the objectives against Pakistan through massive covert war and hybrid war.

 

Way Forward

 

War is not an option in which economy dies again and again, BUT Love is, which starts with forgiveness as mentioned in the Quran, (Ref: Al_Quran_041:035).

South Asian countries should assume the responsibility for internal reforms, avoid extremism and confrontation and ensure economic and social development, through ensuring respect for human right and paying special attention to human resource development programs.

 

The West particularly the United States should seek to resolve all political disputes that become breeding grounds of terrorism, reject equating Islam with terrorism and assist the Muslim world in poverty alleviation and socio-economic development.

 

Socio-economic problems and human security issues need to be accorded the highest priority by governments, as these are the main cause of frustration among the masses and particularly among the educated and unemployed youth, who become easy recruits for radical organizations which involve them in their terrorist activities. In addition to individual state efforts to deal with extremism, a concerted regional effort is also required as the problem has an additional external dimension to it.

There is no shortcut to eradicating regional problems since they are the result of a consistent and gradual failure of the state to deal with the issue of public security and grievances, and also the failure of society to curb tendencies of extremism and intolerance. Without formulating a comprehensive approach to deal with the issue of extremism at the state, society and regional level, the menace of radicalism cannot be eradicated.

There is dire need to address root causes of extremism and terrorism by providing an equitable social and economic order and just judicial system at the global level.

It is time for Global World to wake up and be careful from Mastermind Criminals/Terrorists and prevent humanity from those by joining Global Unity without any discrimination of Religion, Race, Sect, Gender, Color, Nationality, Rich, Poor, Young or Old etc. Otherwise, they could be next in line.

To Protect World from Criminals/Terrorists which is causing Global Poverty and Artificial Global Famine as well, we must understand Criminal Masterminds, and we must find the roots of all Crimes, starting from Mother Womb till the Grave.

It is not Wealth (Gold or Silver etc.) or Power which can save the Global World. Allah seized Qaroon, Pharaoh, and Hamaan and many more, for their crimes against humanity and nothing could save them, not even their wealth, power, or people, etc., (Ref: Al_Quraan_029:039). The World didn’t end there, but it re-developed after a Great Revolution.

One sure way of curbing extremist tendencies is China’s policy of peace and friendship and connectivity through One Belt One Road project of which CPEC is the fulcrum, for collective growth and development of the region.

The writer is a retired Brig, a war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. Email: asifharoonraja@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pak China Relations: Academic & Socio-Cultural Perspective

Pak China Relations: Academic & Socio-Cultural Perspective

 

 

Round Table Discussion

Pak China Relations:
Academic & Socio-Cultural Perspective

Organised By

MUSLIM Institute

     
MUSLIM Institute in collaboration with China Pakistan Educational and Cultural Institute organized a Round Table Discussion titled “Pak China Relations: Academic & Socio-Cultural Perspective” on December 8, 2017, at Islamabad. Air Vice Marshal (R) Faaiz Amir (Vice Chancellor, Air University, Islamabad) chaired the session. Mr Tahir Mehmood (Public Relations Coordinator, MUSLIM Institute) delivered the opening remarks and moderated the proceedings. Other speakers include Mr. Zafar Bakhtawari (Former President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry), Prof. Le Wei (Dean, School of International Education, Yunnan University, China), Dr. Zhang Daojian (Director, Confucius Institute, NUML Islamabad), Mr. Tanvir Jafri (Incharge, China Study Centre, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad) and Mr. Me Heju (CEO, China Pakistan Educational & Cultural Institute). Mr Asif Tanveer Awan Advocate (Research Associate MUSLIM Institute) presented the vote of thanks.

Brief Summary of the remarks shared by the speakers is as follows:


Row 01 (From Left): Air Vice Marshal (R) Faaiz Amir, Prof. Le Wei, Mr. Zafar Bakhtawari
Row 02 (From Left): Dr. Zhang Daojian, Mr. Tanvir Jafri, Mr. Me Heju
Pak-China diplomatic relations were established in 1951. Pakistan is among those countries which recognized the People’s Republic of China soon after its revolution. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is also the first Muslim state to establish relations with China. An unshakeable mutual trust between both the states was seeded soon after the Bandung Conference in 1955 under the efforts of the Premier Zhou Enlai. Pak-China friendship, described by the political leadership of both the states is as higher as mountains, as deeper as oceans and as sweeter as honey is a unique and exceptional case in the international system. 

Pakistan is home to the vital link between China and the Muslim World. Both states have been rendering remarkable services for the sake of their mutual development in their transitional period of almost seven decades. For example, more than twenty-two major projects have been initiated by China in Pakistan which includes heavy mechanical complex, heavy electrical complex, tank rebuilding factory, aircraft rebuilding factory, Gwadar port, Karakoram Highway, Nuclear power plants etc.


Hall view of roundtable discussion.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is going to be a reality and both countries have decided to establish an international economic hub. CPEC is a game changer because the fate of Pakistan, as well as the region of South Asia and even the world at large, is going to be changed. The current Chinese president, Mr Xi Jinping wants to make China an economic superpower and in the pursuance of these initiatives, One Belt One Road (OBOR) project is in the process of completion. This initiative will connect 65 countries of the whole world. An interesting fact regarding this initiative is that out of a total 65 countries, 55 are Muslim countries. It looks that the world order is going to be reconstructed. The centre of power is likely to be shifted from the West to the East. Pakistan is on the front line with China and CPEC will benefit both Pakistan and China economically. The One Belt One Road initiative would bring competition as well as stability between both the nations. It will not only improve infrastructure but also total export at large. The major task is based on five points. 1st is the policy communication, 2nd is the facility of connectivity, 3rd is regarding unlimited trade, 4th deals with mutual financing and the 5th considers strong people to people contact. If the two countries are devoid of indigenous connectivity, we will not be benefitting ourselves with the maximum potential enshrined in CPEC. They need to understand each other. They need to know their similarities as well as the differences so that they form the habit of respecting each other. In this respect, they will be able to explore their challenges mutually while influencing factors regarding their relationship in a positive manner. Most of the issues can be solved easily through academic, social and cultural exchanges and with also people to people contact between the two countries not only at the state level but also at an individual. The world is changing its dynamics and the China and Pakistan have a specific and unique role in the world generally and in the region at large. Both the countries enjoy the peculiarity of their own cultural values and abilities to face the change, in this regard, a famous Chinese scholar says “Everyone respect one’s own culture and values. If we respect others’ culture and values, the world will be full of hope”. 

However, there are cultural differences between the two nations and an acute sense of understanding regarding those cultural differences is very important. Pakistan is home to 200 million people contrary to 1.35 billion that of China. For cultural interaction and cultural affinity, the civilization of China has to be more sensitive towards the cultural adequacies of Islamic civilization. The significance of the promotion of China-Pakistan socio-cultural exchanges and people to people contact has increased.


Hall view of roundtable discussion.
It will be better to enhance educational exchanges first which is the basic level. This level will disseminate a greater sense of opportunities regarding mutual understanding. Propagation of cultural affinity at student level deserves pivotal importance. In this respect, a high level of mutual confidence is required. It is really a good omen that Chinese students used to study in various universities of Pakistan. Both the governments are advised to invest heavily in the field of education while establishing world-class educational institutions under mutual operational capacity. It will help a great deal in achieving mutual recognition regarding educational qualification between both the nations. Moreover, collaboration in significant areas like that of language and culture is of pivotal importance. Another significant area is the establishment of vocational education institutes across Pakistan in the wake of world’s largest credible project CPEC. Because a large number of skilled workers will be needed soon to drive the project up to its maximum potential.

The academic contribution is considered as an ignored area with respect to other developmental areas. Humans are more important than projects. Up to May, 2017, Chinese institutions which officially set up Pakistan Research Centre include only seven special research institutions: Tsinghua University Pakistan Cultural Transmission Research Centre, Peking University Pakistan Research Centre, Sichuan University Pakistan Research Centre, Fudan University Pakistan Research Centre, Jiangsu Normal University Pakistan Research Centre, China West Normal University Pakistan Research Centre, Yunnan Nationalities University Pakistan Research Centre. In addition to above seven special research institutions, comparatively minimal number of scholars in other universities and scientific research institutions pay attention to jointly composed China’s Pakistan research team. Similarly, in Pakistan, a recent increase in academic and cultural studies was witnessed but still, it needs to be strengthened. Therefore, there is a dire need to establish and improve existing volume of Pakistan-China academic cooperation. It will help a great deal in further strengthening the already an unshakable relationship. In Pakistan, China Study Centre aims to promote cooperation in the field of science and technology. Various projects have been visualized by joint coordination with Chinese universities. A team of seven artists was warmly welcomed in Chinese universities. Another effort by the centre is the introduction of the Chinese way of flying a kite which is less dangerous as compared to the Pakistani way. Hundreds of kites were imported from China in order to celebrate Pak-China kite festival at China Study Centre. In addition, mass singing of Chinese anthem at China Study Centre is another feather in the centre’s cap. This singing has the privilege of first such kind in the history of Pakistan.


Hall view of roundtable discussion.
A large number of Buddhist antiques and sculptures are present in different museums of Pakistan including Taxila Museum, Lahore Museum, Peshawar Museum, Dir Museum and Karachi Museum which is a treasure encompassing wonders not only for the Chinese tourists but for the researchers belonging to the field of archaeology. These assets are not only promoting tourism in Pakistan but also providing a chance of interaction between the two peoples.

Being the fourth pillar, Media play a very significant role in the development and prosperity of a nation. Chinese are advised to develop their own news agencies along with independent TV networks operating multilingual news along with encompassing a global reach. It will help a great deal in dealing with prevailing propagandas geo-politically against this historic friendship.

Although there exists healthy exchange of academicians, scholars, analysts, as well as researchers yet the up gradation of future prospects of socio-cultural and academic cooperation, is the need of the hour in concordance with the changing geopolitical scenario.

Interactive Session:Pak China Relations: Academic & Socio-Cultural Perspective


Participants asking questions in interactive session
A fruitful discussion took place in interactive session it is summarized as follows:

People of China consider the folks of Pakistan their best friends. CPEC is a game changer which will benefit both countries of China and Pakistan. Pakistani students are under education in various departments of Chinese universities and their numbers have increased substantially after CPEC. They are being provided full time scholarships and other educational facilities. Although different academic scholars, analysts and students visit both sides thus enhancing future prospects of socio-cultural and academic relationship, but considering the capacity on both sides, a lot of work need to be done.

 

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